Ubani tells state governors to demand stamp duty revenue

Governors of Nigeria’s 36 states have been urged to unite, stand up and collectively demand stamp duty revenue without fear or favour.

The CEO/Chief Consultant of Maroct Consultants Group, Chief Ubani Uzoma Francis, made the call during the presentation of a paper in Abuja on “Stamp Duties: A Practical Approach to Fostering a United Front on issues disturbing the collective interest of States,” at a recent meeting of the Nigerian Governors Forum.

He held that all stamp duty revenue belongs to the various states of the Nigerian federation, adding that the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), is only an agent of the states. for collecting stamp duty.

He said: “We therefore urge you, the several States of the Federation, to form a united front and demand the stamp duty revenue which is rightfully yours under the very clear provisions of the Constitution of the Republic Federal Government of Nigeria, 1999, as amended. »

Ubani, also a member of the Tax Standards and Practices Oversight Committee of the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria, said that the various states of the Federation should take note that with regard to the collection of stamp duty/levies in Nigeria, states are head teachers; while the federal government, through the FIRS, is only a “constitutionally appointed collection agent”.

Ubani therefore stated that the FG/FIRS is accordingly mandated by the provisions of Section 163 (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, which in his view means that the FG/FIRS is obliged to follow the strict requirements and the spirit of the said constitutional provisions.

He said that the current constitution of Nigeria, which is the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, provided for different levels of authorities, responsibilities and powers, for each level of government and how to finance the exercise of its responsibilities. for assigned activities.

He said that there are various statutory legislations in place to enable the different levels of government to carry out their respective functions.

He explained that one such legislation is the Stamp Duty Act, CAP S8, LFN, 2004, as amended, which provides for the imposition and collection of stamp duty revenue in respect of instruments concluded between companies, on the one hand, and individuals. , the other.

He argued that Section 4(1) of the Stamp Duty Act 2004, as amended by Section 53(a) of the Finance Act 2019, empowered the Federal Government of Nigeria, by through the FIRS, to collect rights arising from instruments initiated and concluded or transactions initiated and carried out between two companies, and between a company and a natural person, a group or a community of natural persons.

He added that while Section 4(2) of the Stamp Duty Act, as amended by Section 53(b) of the Finance Act 2019, allowed competent tax authorities in different states of the Federation to impose and collect duties on instruments initiated and executed and/or transactions initiated and completed between persons or individuals, whether electronically or otherwise by bank tellers or other documents in each of the different state territories.

Ubani said Section 4(1) and (2) of the Stamp Duty Act 2004, as amended, made clear what was to be recovered between the Federal Government of Nigeria, on the one hand, and the various States of the Federation, on the other hand. .

Ubani said, “The various States of the Federation should take note that when it comes to the collection of stamp duty/levies in Nigeria, the States are the principals; while the FG, through the FIRS, is only a “constitutionally appointed collection agent”. Therefore, the FG/FIRS is therefore mandated by the provisions of Section 163(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, which means that the FG/FIRS is obliged to follow the strict precepts and spirit of the said constitutional provisions. The orchestrated deception, unfair and unsound collection practices must CEASE, especially in the disbursement of the net proceeds of collected duties/levies, to the various States of the Federation in accordance with the Constitution which is the supreme law of Nigeria.

“State Governments should be very careful when engaging technical support/advisers in the area of ​​Stamp Duty Revenue Chief, because many who claim to know, all misunderstand and misinterpret the provisions of the Stamp Duty Act and the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, with respect to stamp duty.

“The various State Governments are strongly advised and urged, as a matter of urgency, to seriously revise, revise and domesticate the Stamp Duty and Capital Gains Laws, in their various States, for the efficient and optimum collection of stamp duties and capital gains tax revenue in their various states.

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